Rose Tamarind, (Arytera divaricata) at Yabbra National Park
Arytera divaricata, known as the Gap Axe, Coogara, Coogera or Rose Tamarind is a common rainforest tree of eastern Australia. An attractive plant with shiny limply hanging new leaves. It grows in fairly dry situations, often at sea side rainforests.
The southern most limit of natural distribution is Port Stephens in New South Wales, extending up to Cape York at the northern most tip of Australia. The generic name Arytera is from the Greek for cup. The fruit valves are of a cup shape. divaricata from the latin which refers to the wide spreading branchlets of the flower panicle.
A small to large tree with dark mature leaves. Achieving a height of over 35 metres tall, though usually seen less than ten metres tall. The base of the tree is somewhat flanged. Smooth greyish thin bark.
The leaves are pinnate and alternate, of two to six pairs of leaflets. Leaf shape lanceolate to ovate, not toothed. Leaflets 5 to 15 cm long, 1.5 to 6 cm wide. Hairy and leathery. Usually not with a sharp point. Shiny green above. Red, pink then yellow new foliage. Leaf stem 3 to 6 mm long. Midrib raised above and below. Leaves distinctly veined. 8 to 12 main lateral leaf veins.
Flowers form between November to April, being cream in colour, on wide and hairy panicles. The fruit is a capsule, with three lobes. Brown oval shaped seeds are enclosed in red fleshy aril. Seeds mature from June to October. Seed germination is reliable. Often as fast as seven days for roots to show.
A decorative and ornamental tree. The timber is very hard, and is known to break axes.
unranked division: Angiosperms
unranked order: Rosids
species: A. divaricata
binomial: Arytera divaricata
binomial authority: Ferdinand Mueller
synonym: Nephelium divaricatum (F.Muell.) Benth.
Floyd, A.G., ''Rainforest Trees of Mainland South-eastern Australia'', Inkata Press 2008, ISBN 9780958943673 page 382